Comic Book Review – DC/Marvel Crossover Classics IV

Publication: 2003

Odin’s Judgment –  Quality: 2 out of 5    Importance: 1.5 out of 5

Recommended Reading: For anybody really curious what it would look like if Spider-Man fought alongside Batman. Or for a few quickie character origins (and who doesn’t love a quickie?).

The other day my younger, eight-year-old brother presented me with another one of his impossibly transcendent questions. He has a knack for such deep, piercing questions that belies his youth. It always starts the same way:

“Suave? Suave?” This will generally continue until I finally answer, no matter how busy I may be with my very busy and important actions.

“Yes, Phil.”

“Ummm… You’re on a raft in the middle of the Artic Ocean with nothing but a pack of floss, a cowbell, and a Twinkie. There’s a giant squid blocking you as deep as the ocean and as high as a building. How do you get past?”

After laughing for a few moments, I will always provide some brilliant answer, probably using the floss and Twinkie as bait to lure the squid into a position where I can shatter his eardrum with the cowbell. But no matter my answer, Phil always responds the same:

“No.”

“What do you mean no?”

“No. That’s not what you do.”

“Well then what do you do?’

It’s at this point that he’ll explain. And such was the case the other day as Phil rattled off a series of superhero related riddles:

“Who would win in a fight, Galactus or Superman?”

“Who would win in a fight, Batman or Spider-Man?”

And so on. Of course, these are some of the deep and often impossible questions comic book lovers may tackle. Impossible because DC and Marvel occupy completely separate spheres, where the likes of Batman never encounters the likes of Spider-Man. Frankly, I’m a fan of keeping DC and Marvel separate. Each comic book universe is vast enough in its own right.

Naturally, then, you can understand my apprehension towards DC/Marvel Crossover Classics, where writers attempt to answer the looming question: What would happen if the DC world spilled over into Marvel?

In short, Crossover Classics are just a light, generally fun, time-killer. They offer no lasting impact on either comic book universe, nor do they actually attempt to cohere to much of an overarching storyline. All of that is fine, but you should know as much before you dive into any Crossover Classic. This is not essential reading. It’s a fun look at a world where Spider-Man teams up with Batman like it’s no big deal.

I picked up the 4th Crossover Classic for my initial crossover experience (this sounds way more sexually charged than it probably should) and don’t think I’ll be running to any other installments any time soon.

This version focuses on the following match-ups:

1)      Silver Surfer/Green Lanter (Kyle Rayner) vs. Thanos/Parallax (Hal Jordan)

2)      Galactus vs. Darkseid

3)      Spider-Man/Batman vs. Kingpin/Ra’s Al Ghul

4)      Fantastic Four/Superman vs. Galactus/Cyborg Superman (sort of)

 Now, if you’re the sort of reader who looks at that list and arches your eyebrow at a few of the names, this DC/Marvel Crossover Classic could actually be a good way to learn a bit about certain characters. These storylines are really designed for beginners, so if you know nothing of Galactus or Ra’s Al Ghul, reading this book can help give you an understanding of their nature and their place in the comics.

 If you’re already pretty familiar with these characters, though, I don’t recommend reading this as anything other than a moderately interesting experiment. You’re probably better off just discussing the match-ups with your little brother.

 Just be prepared to hear that you’re wrong.

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